Issue Date: January 8, 2018
Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products: David R. Williams
Citation: For his insightful and creative strategies for the synthesis of biologically active natural products.
Current position: Harry G. Day Professor of Chemistry, Indiana University, Bloomington
Education: B.S., chemistry, St. Lawrence University; Ph.D., organic chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Williams on his scientific role model and why: “Remarkable experiences with the late George Büchi and with professors E. J. Corey and the late R. B. Woodward: These iconic leaders fostered the foundation for my career as a researcher and mentor. I have considered Paul Wender and David Evans as outstanding role models of professionalism, scholarship, and creativity. I am also a grateful beneficiary of the unbridled enthusiasm of Al Meyers, Harry Wasserman, and Paul Grieco as they generously took interest in the research of a newly minted assistant professor.”
What his colleagues say: “Dr. Williams has a long-standing record of achievement in the synthesis of natural products and in the development of new strategies and methodologies for synthesis, many that are of use in medicinal research and thus of benefit to society. Williams has been a leading figure in natural product chemistry, and his striking and prolific accomplishments are among the finest in the field. His body of work represents the truest traditions of excellence in natural product chemistry.”—Paul A. Wender, Stanford University
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